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Older Animals Offer a Calmer, Less-Demanding Adoption Option

Nov. 13, 2007 — The senior animal is often overlooked when it comes to adoption, so November is dedicated to it at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.
"Adopting a senior pet makes sense for someone who doesn't want any surprises," said Carole Wells, development director at the center.
November has been proclaimed "Adopt a Senior Pet Month" by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The center in Clifton Hill considers a senior pet any pet over the age of one, and generally has plenty ready for adoption.
Most people don't want animals that are more than a year old and past the "cute puppy" stage, Wells said. When someone adopts an older dog or cat, however, their behavior problems or health considerations are evident before adoption.
Older pets, according to Wells, usually require less supervision and care. This makes them good companions for people who are busy. They are usually house-trained or litter-box trained, and may even have obedience training. An older person may find the adult animal's calm demeanor more suited to their taste.
Older animals require less intense exercise and play time, which works well in a busy household. They also make a good companion for other pets, Well said.
The following stories are three of the territory's many successful senior pet adoptions.
Carolyn Briggs, veterinary technician at the Humane Society of St. Thomas, said she considers an animal over seven to be a senior pet.
"Puppies are the most highly adopted pet," Briggs said. "It is really important to give older animals a chance."
Each animal has a special story. Briggs likes to tell their stories to prospective owners as she walks through the kennels with them. Last week the St. Thomas shelter successfully found a home for Maggie, a full-bred black Labrador retriever. When Maggie was found, she seemed very happy, had just a few teeth and appeared to be around 12 years old. The shelter ran a number of tests on Maggie that came back negative except for tick fever, which is treatable.
A lost-and-found ad was run, but garnered no response. A lady came in, took one look at Maggie, fell in love with her and took her right away.
"It was like a match made in heaven," Briggs said.
For information on adoption and hours at the humane society on St. Thomas, call 775-0599.
The St. John Animal Shelter workers also boast of successful senior adoptions. A large mixed-breed dog was dropped off at the shelter not long ago because its owners were leaving the island, Connie Joseph said. The dog would sit by the fence waiting for his family to return. A gentleman came by, saw the dog and decided to give the center a $1,000 check for the 12-year-old dog.
"It goes to show you all dogs have a place," Joseph said. "There is a real love of animals on St. John, with that kind of success story."
To learn more about the St. John Animal Care Center, located in Cruz Bay, call 774-1625.
Approximately 18 months ago, a concerned citizen called the St. Croix center to inform the shelter of a dog being severely abused.
The dog was picked up and spent four months at a local veterinarian's office being put back together with surgery. He lived and recuperated at the shelter for a year until a loving couple adopted him. Now Wells sees him riding happily in the cab of the couple's truck.
For more information on senior pets, special events, volunteering at the St. Croix center or to make a donation, call 778-1650.
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Nov. 13, 2007 -- The senior animal is often overlooked when it comes to adoption, so November is dedicated to it at the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center.
"Adopting a senior pet makes sense for someone who doesn't want any surprises," said Carole Wells, development director at the center.
November has been proclaimed "Adopt a Senior Pet Month" by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The center in Clifton Hill considers a senior pet any pet over the age of one, and generally has plenty ready for adoption.
Most people don't want animals that are more than a year old and past the "cute puppy" stage, Wells said. When someone adopts an older dog or cat, however, their behavior problems or health considerations are evident before adoption.
Older pets, according to Wells, usually require less supervision and care. This makes them good companions for people who are busy. They are usually house-trained or litter-box trained, and may even have obedience training. An older person may find the adult animal's calm demeanor more suited to their taste.
Older animals require less intense exercise and play time, which works well in a busy household. They also make a good companion for other pets, Well said.
The following stories are three of the territory's many successful senior pet adoptions.
Carolyn Briggs, veterinary technician at the Humane Society of St. Thomas, said she considers an animal over seven to be a senior pet.
"Puppies are the most highly adopted pet," Briggs said. "It is really important to give older animals a chance."
Each animal has a special story. Briggs likes to tell their stories to prospective owners as she walks through the kennels with them. Last week the St. Thomas shelter successfully found a home for Maggie, a full-bred black Labrador retriever. When Maggie was found, she seemed very happy, had just a few teeth and appeared to be around 12 years old. The shelter ran a number of tests on Maggie that came back negative except for tick fever, which is treatable.
A lost-and-found ad was run, but garnered no response. A lady came in, took one look at Maggie, fell in love with her and took her right away.
"It was like a match made in heaven," Briggs said.
For information on adoption and hours at the humane society on St. Thomas, call 775-0599.
The St. John Animal Shelter workers also boast of successful senior adoptions. A large mixed-breed dog was dropped off at the shelter not long ago because its owners were leaving the island, Connie Joseph said. The dog would sit by the fence waiting for his family to return. A gentleman came by, saw the dog and decided to give the center a $1,000 check for the 12-year-old dog.
"It goes to show you all dogs have a place," Joseph said. "There is a real love of animals on St. John, with that kind of success story."
To learn more about the St. John Animal Care Center, located in Cruz Bay, call 774-1625.
Approximately 18 months ago, a concerned citizen called the St. Croix center to inform the shelter of a dog being severely abused.
The dog was picked up and spent four months at a local veterinarian's office being put back together with surgery. He lived and recuperated at the shelter for a year until a loving couple adopted him. Now Wells sees him riding happily in the cab of the couple's truck.
For more information on senior pets, special events, volunteering at the St. Croix center or to make a donation, call 778-1650.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.